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Old 06-01-2009, 07:45 AM
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campbell campbell is offline
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Default NFL Pensions

I mentioned one instance of NFL pension trouble in the public pensions thread, but figured, I might as well start a new thread once I found another story:

Even the richest sports league in the world can't meet its pension obligations.

NFL owners in March voted to allow teams to opt out of the league-run pension plan for coaches and other non-playing employees. Already nine of the NFL's 32 clubs have opted out of the program — including the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers — and three more teams are considering following suit, said Larry Keenan, executive director of the NFL Coaches Association.

The move has angered coaches, and led to worries some NFL coaches and employees might leave the league. Last month, two veteran Indianapolis Colts coaches, offensive coordinator Tom Moore and offensive line coach Howard Mudd, retired because of the pension changes, Mr. Keenan said. “At this time, we're still monitoring the issue on a team-by-team basis and staying in constant communication with the coaches,” he said in an e-mail.

Jeff Pash, NFL executive vice president and general counsel, told reporters at the league's spring meeting last month that the reason for the change is “entirely related to the drop in the stock market” over the past 18 months that left many “clubs' pension plans quite underfunded,” according to a transcript of the press conference.
Back from mid-May:

The executive director of the NFL Coaches Association blasted the NFL Saturday for showing "a total lack of respect" toward the league's assistant coaches by altering their league-wide pension plan.

The change, a cost-cutting measure that allows individual teams to opt out of the plan, was voted on by NFL owners in March "with no forewarning," according to Larry Kennan. The change led to the recent retirement of two long-time Indianapolis Colts assistants. And in an interview on Sirius NFL Radio's "The Weekend Kickoff," Kennan said other assistants have discussed quitting, too.
That angst has led to renewed talk of forming an actual coaches union - something Kennan said was a possibility even though "we've been threatened many times that if we formed an association they'd fire all of us." He also said he believes the owners may have made the decision on the pension plan with other motives in mind.

"We understand that everybody is cutting expenses around the country, at General Motors and a lot of the major corporations," Kennan said. "But a lot of them are on the verge of bankruptcy. I can't imagine that the NFL is on the verge of bankruptcy, bringing in over $8 billion last year. For them to do this, particularly with no advance warning, it makes no sense. It leads me to believe that it was maybe a knee-jerk reaction to the economy and also maybe it was a strategy to deal with the negotiations they're getting ready to do with the players and the lockout the owners are talking about."

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Old 06-02-2009, 10:57 AM
tymesup tymesup is offline
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IIRC, a top offensive coordinator like Tom Moore would be making at least 500K, if not 1M. It's hard to imagine giving that up to collect a pension.

This may be another sign that the pie has stopped expanding. It's been years since I've gone to a major league game; I don't expect to go again anytime in the near future. Similarly, the Yankees couldn't sell a bunch of their expensive seats and decided to lower prices.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:42 PM
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Gary Wright Gary Wright is offline
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So, this is probably a multiemployer plan, right? Or is this some kind of non-qualified plan?

If it were a multi-employer plan, I'd bet the guy's not quite accurate about getting *no* notice - maybe something more like 15 days?
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:51 PM
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A federal appeals court in northern Georgia has ruled against a law firm’s claim to former NFL players’ retirement benefits, and in favor of an ERISA pension and welfare plan.
A three-member panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed 3-0 to uphold a lower court ruling in favor of The Retirement Board of the Bert Bell/Peter Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, a retirement system for ex-players governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 –- and against attorney Kurt R. Ward, Atlanta, GA.

The Ward Firm brought suit against retired NFL players, Odessa Turner and Marvin Woodson, after they failed to pay a percentage of their retirement benefits in legal fees. After the former players failed to appear in court, Ward was awarded default judgment for all benefits from the Bell/Rozelle Retirement Plan.

The Bell/Rozelle Retirement Board refused to pay Ward based on the plan’s spendthrift provision which provided, “No benefit under the Plan will be subject in any manner to anticipation, pledge, encumbrance, alienation, levy or assignment, nor to seizure, attachment or other legal process for the debts of any Player or beneficiary.”


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Old 06-28-2011, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by limabeanactuary View Post
that law firm should be embarassed for bringing such a silly case.
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